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Crude PoliticsThe California Oil Market, 1900-1940$
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Paul Sabin and Philip Rousseau

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241985

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241985.001.0001

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The Politics of the 1920 Mineral Leasing Act

The Politics of the 1920 Mineral Leasing Act

Chapter:
(p.31) CHAPTER 2 The Politics of the 1920 Mineral Leasing Act
Source:
Crude Politics
Author(s):

Paul Sabin

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520241985.003.0003

The national campaign for favorable treatment of the California oil companies, which culminated in the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 and in the 1920s Teapot Dome scandal over bribery and oil leases, reveals many familiar aspects of American politics and business of the time. From the Taft land withdrawal in 1909 to the passage of the Mineral Leasing Act in 1920, the political representatives of the oil industry struggled to open Southern California oil lands for immediate development. During the two decades following the 1920 leasing act, oil land ownership provided the sole means for the federal government to achieve conservation. The politics that shaped the new property regime for mineral lands in California and the nation drew heavily on the political traditions of the nineteenth-century American system, distributing access to resources among private parties and generally promoting rapid development on the public domain.

Keywords:   Mineral Leasing Act, California oil companies, American politics, American business, Taft land withdrawal, federal government, Southern California, oil lands, mineral lands

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